Reduction in Benefits
The USDA’s proposed change to SNAP eligibility would mean that more than 1 in 11 New Jersey residents receiving SNAP would lose benefits — about 68,000 people in the state. Nearly half (44 percent) of SNAP recipients are children, and the program has a long-term effect: one study found that people who had access to SNAP as children were less likely to develop chronic diseases as adults, and earned higher incomes. The program also has economic benefits. Reduction in benefits will harm the economy, grocery retailers, and agricultural producers by reducing the amount of SNAP dollars available to spur local economic activity.
The proposed regulation limiting SNAP benefits will increase the number of students currently not getting enough food. This is going to be a challenge for us moving forward, because if some people are not able to qualify for this program, (kids are) going to be coming to school hungry. And if families no longer qualify for food stamps, their children won’t qualify for free school breakfasts and lunches.
Nearly 71 percent of Millville School District students qualified for free or reduced-price school lunch in the 2018-2019 school year. If the proposed SNAP regulation is enacted, more than 223 families in Millville, NJ would lose their free lunch status and the changes will harm families struggling to make ends meet, free school meals are vital to addressing hunger.
Families would need to apply individually for assistance, creating paperwork requirements that could lead some qualified children to fall through the cracks, and some families still may not be able to afford the meals, even at a significantly reduced cost. The change also poses a risk for increased unpaid meal charges and will impact our program participation and revenue.